Lack of leadership is shooting Gunners in the foot - Former French star

Pires Henry Penalty Discussion

Arsenal legend insists characters like Tony Adams, Martin Keown and David Seaman would have prevented heavy losses at Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea

Robert Pires has questioned whether Arsene Wenger has enough ‘leaders’ and he believes this has affected Arsenal’s mentality in big matches this season.

The Gunners go into tomorrow’s home game against Manchester City fourth in the table and six points behind top-of-the-table Chelsea.

Arsenal’s hopes of being crowned champions will all but disappear with defeat to Manuel Pellegrini’s men and they can ill afford a repeat of what happened in the reverse fixture at the Etihad Stadium back in December when they were thrashed 6-3.

The problem for Wenger is that result was not a one-off.

The Gunners have also been blown away by two other of their Premier League title rivals - Liverpool and Chelsea.

A pedestrian start saw Wenger’s team find themselves 4-0 after only 20 minutes at Anfield last month in a game they went on to lose 5-1, and six days ago Arsenal were 4-0 down at half-time once more in a 6-0 London derby hammering at Stamford Bridge.

Pires was part of Wenger's Invincibles which won the 2003/2004 Premier League title without losing a single match.

During his time at the club he played alongside the likes of Tony Adams, Martin keown and Patrick Vieira and won two league titles and three FA Cup winners’ medals.

The former France international midfielder, now 40, has spent time training with the current squad this season and feels they could do with 'leaders' on the pitch to help them overcome testing situations.

He told the London Evening Standard: "Maybe at this moment, for example, when you go 2-0 down in 10 minutes, you need leadership.

"That is most important. When I played, it was with Tony Adams, Martin Keown, Lee Dixon and David Seaman - you need that leadership. Maybe they miss that, especially at these moments.

"Sometimes football is crazy and strange like last Saturday at Stamford Bridge.

"Leaders change the mentality when you have lost. It is not normal to start like they did at Stamford Bridge or Anfield because it is like a final.

"If you want to win the title, you have to win those games so maybe it is a question of mentality."

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